NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The question of the day is about Missouri’s Michael Sam, who is preparing for the combine after publicly sharing that he is gay.
He’s a defensive end who played quite well at Missouri, where he was SEC Defensive Player of the Year along with Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley.
Aside from how he grades out as a draft prospect, will teams take into consideration that he will be a big news story -- as the first openly gay NFL player -- and let it influence if and when they’d draft him?
Odds are some teams will let it be a factor.
Would the Titans?
General manager Ruston Webster is an upstanding guy who’s well-connected and well-respected around the league. I think Webster and his scouts will evaluate Sam as they would any other player. If he’s the top-rated player on Tennessee’s board at a time when the Titans feel they need a defensive end, I don’t think they’d pass because he’d bring attention with him.
But reports from the Senior Bowl I’ve read said he didn’t look very comfortable playing in space as an outside linebacker. The Titans are going to be a hybrid front, not the traditional 4-3 they’ve been for their entire time in Tennessee.
If Sam is not a football fit, the Titans won’t be a team that really faces the question.